Help with cockpit enclosure planning - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Faster
  • 1 Post By pdqaltair
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-22-2013
SoOkay's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New jersey
Posts: 210
Thanks: 4
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 11
SoOkay is on a distinguished road
Help with cockpit enclosure planning

So after making our migration south for the winter later than expected and enjoying refreshing nighttime winds of 55kts and temps below 40 degrees on the way, the admiral has decided that we might be getting too old for this s*it.

So I'm tasked with researching an isinglass cockpit enclosure for our boat. We've never had one, and we have no experience with them. If you have or had one:

Do you remove your panels when you don't want them down, or roll them up?

When do you use yours? Is it feasable to sail with them down? I'm thinking of all the salt spray and dew on the dodger and how I just look around it now

What did you like about yours?

What did you not like about it?

What should I be considering in designing one?
S/V Shangri La
Jeanneau 50DS

"Besides, if we get lost, we pull in somewhere and ask directions." --Captain Ron
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Old 11-22-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 16,132
Thanks: 100
Thanked 283 Times in 273 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Help with cockpit enclosure planning

Our boat is not suited to an enclosure, and I'm not quite ready (yet) anyway!

But.... many of our cruising buddies have recently added enclosures, in our area they tend to get used quite a lot. These are almost universally 'roll up' panels - I think that makes sense as it avoids having to find a good spot to store them below on a cruise. Most also have removeable 'zip outs' in the transition between dodger and bimini (which you probably already have)

We've seen our friends motor/motor sail with the side curtains in place, but most roll them up while sailing. We did some cruising in colder climes this summer together, the enclosures got a lot of use, esp in the mornings and in the evenings for entertaining. The cold water really cooled the cabin sole and space below, so the cockpit was more comfortable than below when enclosed.

Based on our observations, I'd pay close attention to maintaining access to cleats, rail mounted BBQs, outboards, etc, don't obscure the stern light, think about zippers vs snaps, and esp how the bottoms of the side curtains are going to attach to the deck/coamings. Have seen some coaming snap pins become literal PITAs when the curtains are rolled up...

One good idea we saw was having the fwd side panel open from the front, fold back inside and snap into the inside of the enclosure.. like a door latched open. Saved rolling up that panel and made it easier to let people in and out.
jraymer likes this.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

Last edited by Faster; 11-22-2013 at 10:51 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Old 11-22-2013
Tim R.'s Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 1,543
Thanks: 1
Thanked 27 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Tim R. is on a distinguished road
Re: Help with cockpit enclosure planning

We used to ridicule boats that had these enclosures. Then we bought a boat that has one and love it. It has a west coast style dodger and full height bimini with glass connector panel. All side panels on the bimini roll up. It has both glass and screen panes that get swapped out seasonally. We sail in Maine from May1 to December 1 so having this has really extended our season. Being able to be in the cockpit at sundown(mosquito time) has been great. It was designed with sailing in mind as it has specific panel openings that allow access to the winches without rolling up a full panel.

The only downside is that it does retract a bit from the looks when it is fully enclosed. but I can live with that.
Tim R.
Out cruising
1997 Caliber 40LRC

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Old 11-22-2013
pdqaltair's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 2,432
Thanks: 1
Thanked 45 Times in 45 Posts
Rep Power: 7
pdqaltair is on a distinguished road
Re: Help with cockpit enclosure planning

Mine had a full enclosure; we put it away and never looked back, and we sailing in sub-freezing temps. We do have a hard top and partial enclosure, which I feel is an excellent compromise.

a. You can't see around it in rain/mist. Not acceptable.

b. Access to lines and quick access to the deck is impeded. Not acceptable.

c. Dress really needs to be sufficient for short periods on-deck anyway, for obvious safety reasons, so blocking the wind is enough. We can sail in fleece and windbreakers, which is fine, with heat on in the cabin.

d. Panels cannot be rolled in cold weather; eventually, they will crack (I've cracked 2 sets in the 40s). Removal is likewise asking for trouble, and where would they go, anyway? They must be set in position before the cold arrives.

If I lived-aboard in certain damp areas I would reconsider, but very likely I would opt for cloth panels (white Sunbrella, perhaps with netting inserts?) for aft areas, as they are easier to remove and store, and will handle all sorts of handling and storage abuse. I have cloth side panels now (if the rain is from the side) and we are very happy with them.
jraymer likes this.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Old 11-22-2013
jimrafford's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: ct
Posts: 612
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 5
jimrafford is on a distinguished road
Re: Help with cockpit enclosure planning

We have added a full enclosure on our last 2 boats. On a cold, rainy day it gets you out of the cave in protected warmth. Exhaust fumes can be a problem.
Eisinglass is not what you want for an enclosure. Rigid and needs to be stored flat. Most, including mine, are polyethylene. Rolling it in fleece blankets for storage will protect it from scratching. Assuming you have a dodger and bimini w/ a connector expect to pay about $500 per panel. My wife made ours.
S/V Deja Vu
CS 40
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
cockpit enclosure rdw Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 24 02-05-2014 09:33 AM
cockpit enclosure gypsy cat Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 1 11-15-2011 07:40 AM
Bimini/cockpit enclosure for OI41 baz Morgan 6 07-11-2011 11:17 AM
How Much For A Cockpit Enclosure? thesnort Gear & Maintenance 3 10-13-2009 05:48 PM
cockpit enclosure bigcj39 General Discussion (sailing related) 34 09-17-2009 11:04 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:17 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) LLC 2000-2012

The store is owned and operated by a company independent of the forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.